If not materialism, then what?
|Snapshot of the video introduction to Why Materialism Is Baloney.|
Continuing on with my series of brief essays on subjects covered more extensively in my latest book, Why Materialism Is Baloney, I'd like today to summarize my main argument. This article, thus, is a kind of overview of the book.
At first sight, materialism seems to make good sense. It seems to explain why we cannot control reality. After all, if matter is fundamentally outside mind, it’s natural that we cannot change things merely by wishing them to be different. Moreover, materialism seems to explain why we all share the same world: unlike a private dream, a reality outside mind can be observed concurrently by multiple witnesses.
Yet, materialism is not the only metaphysics that can make sense of things. In fact, among the alternatives, materialism is particularly cumbersome: since knowledge can only exist within subjective experience, a material realm outside experience is fundamentally unknowable. In the book, I explore a more parsimonious and logical metaphysics according to which reality is a kind of shared dream; according to which matter arises in mind, not mind in matter; a metaphysics that implies that consciousness doesn’t end upon physical death.
As readers of the book will see, materialism is based on two childishly flawed conclusions: it mistakes a world outside the control of our conscious wishes for a world outside consciousness itself; and it mistakes the visible image of a process for the cause of the process. The book argues that the brain is merely the visible image of a localization of the flow of consciousness, like a whirlpool is the visible image of a localization of the flow of water. For exactly the same reason that a whirlpool doesn’t generate water, the brain doesn’t generate consciousness!
Contemporary culture is extraordinarily biased toward the unprovable and clumsy materialist metaphysics. For instance, if I say that reality is a kind of shared dream, most people will take it to mean that reality is inside our heads. In fact, it is materialism that says that everything we experience is inside our heads: people, trees, stars and all! If reality is a shared dream, then it is our heads and bodies – as parts of reality – that are in the dream, not the dream in our heads. Somehow, our culture has come to attribute to materialism the intuitiveness of other worldviews, while attributing to other worldviews the absurdity of materialism.
In the book, I explore these questions in a rational, empirically sound manner. This isn’t a feel-good spiritual book, but a logical and rigorous exploration of reality. It looks past the cultural fog that for so long has obscured our view and negatively influenced our lives. It unveils a reality much more conducive to hope than the bleak materialist view implies. It concludes that life is pregnant with meaning and purpose, and that death is just a change in our state of consciousness. It is time we opened our eyes and dropped the insanity of materialism; 21st-century humanity demands a more mature, adult worldview. So join me in this exciting exploration, one that may just change your entire outlook on life and reality.